Life seems so simple and enjoyable when we have low expectations. High expectations sometimes lead to a lack of motivation and failure to achieve goals. Low expectations, on the other hand, make things more realistic and generate a high motivation that helps people reach their goals. Last month, I sat down with a beautiful 22-year-old girl that is very smart and has a bright future ahead of her. She has the financial, mental, and physical abilities to go to school, get a degree, get a job, and earns more money. I engaged her in a conversation, I did not take that long to find out that this girl has a big issue. She has very high expectations for almost everything in life. She wants to be an engineer and wants to make over $120K a year when she graduates and she thinks that all engineers make at least $10,000 a month after tax. Also, she thinks that all engineers can afford to buy a decent house in Southern California and can live a luxury life. After she faces the reality and finds out that majority of engineers don’t make $10,000 a month after tax and barely afford to buy a condominium, she starts to withdraw from her school courses and stops her 4-year-degree program and continues her $ 12 per hour job with no motivation at all to progress.
If this girl had a low expectation, she would continue her engineering courses and would get her Bachelor Degree. Her high expectations destroyed her motivation.
Sometimes, in this life, happiness and success come when people have low expectations. for example,
1. When your goal is to get a college degree, don’t expect that you will easily get 6 figure job after you graduate. Be happy with any job in your field that will open an opportunity for you to grow and progress regardless of how much you get paid.
2. When you try to look for love, don’t expect that you will find a model because if you do, you will end up single for the rest of your life.
3. When you try to invest in stocks / mutual funds, don’t expect that you will be a millionaire soon because if you expect that, you will never invest and will never have a high net worth. Be patient and be happy with 8-9% average annual return that S&P 500 generates. This number might look low to you but in reality, people who have been investing in S&P 500 index funds for the last 20 years are millionaires now and can afford to quit a job at any time because their investments can generate income for them.
4. When you go on vacation, don’t expect that the place will be like heaven, because if you expect that, you will never enjoy your vacation. Be happy with what you see and realize that there are a lot of other people cannot afford to go on vacation.
5. When you get a job, don’t expect that the environment and culture will have everything you like because if you expect that, you will get disappointed and you will quit your job. Train yourself to be flexible to adapt to different environment and culture and develop skills to deal with difficult boss and co-workers.
6. When you start working out at the gym, don’t expect that you will lose weight or build big muscles within 1 month because if you expect that, you will get disappointed if you don’t see results that fast and you will quit the gym. Be patient and realize that losing weight or building muscles takes time and commitment.
7. When you have a spouse, don’t expect that your spouse will have everything you like. If you expect that, then you will get disappointed and your relationship will suffer and you will end up filling a divorce. Accept the fact that nobody in this world is perfect. Everybody has good things and bad things.
How about you? Do you like to have high expectations too?